Families remember veterans on Memorial Day - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Families remember veterans on Memorial Day

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

No matter how you choose to spend your day, one Columbus woman says you must take the time to remember our fallen heroes and the sacrifices they made.

8,200 veterans are laid to rest at the Fort Mitchell National Cemetery. News Leader 9' met the wife of one of the occupants who says her husband served until his dying day.

"My husband was a heavy mobile mechanic so he was a very big man. He was 6'4", 220 pounds but, he loved you like a lamb," widow Mary Long said.

Staff Sergeant Fred Long was a Marine for more than 20 years. SSG Long joined the army at the tender age of 17, fought in Vietnam, and earned countless medals along the way. He died of lung cancer. He was 56 years-old.

"I like to wear his dog tags to keep him close to my heart," said Long.

She wears her husband's dog tags every day. Along with their granddaughter Hannah, Long paid a visit to her husband's grave on Memorial Day.

"Memorial Day is one of the days I really would not want to miss. The flags are beautiful out here. Freedom is not free; looking out here," said Long.

Long says people should take the time to remember the sacrifice countless men and women have made for our country. She says it's also important for people not to forget those left behind.

"It was very hard to see him going down. And, then all of a sudden you're without him. And, you don't know how to do things, there are things like changing a light bulb and just simple things like that. Every day I need him, he's not here. So, I'm a survivor and I'm proud of it," said Long.

The lyrics of Lee Greenwood should still ring true, I'm proud to be an American were at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me.

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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